Thursday, June 12, 2014

Stellenbosch Wine Routes makes Drinks Business Awards cut again

Wine Route nominated for Best Contribution to Wine & Spirits Tourism – 2nd year in a row
Issued by:                                                                  Issued on behalf of:
Random Hat Communications                                     Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes

The pioneering Stellenbosch American Express® Wine Routes has made the sought-after shortlist for The Drinks Business Awards 2014 as a contender for the Best Contribution to Wine & Spirits Tourism title, for the second consecutive year.

This annual competition held by Europe’s leading drinks trade publication, recognises and rewards those companies achieving excellence amongst their peers across the global drinks industry. This year the wine route is up against La Motte Wine Estate in Franschhoek and Taste Hungary – all vying for the top spot when it comes tocreating authentic, personalised and compelling experiences for customers wishing to encounter their favourite wines and spirits on their home turf.

“This nomination could not have a come at a better time as it underlines our ongoing and increased efforts in positioning Stellenbosch as a multifaceted, unparalleled tourist destination on the world map, showcasing the area’s diverse, world class offerings on a global scale. Long gone are the days when people just valued Stellenbosch as a one day destination to taste quality wines. Nothing sells a place like the place itself, and lucky for us Stellenbosch has it all – the people, the food, the architecture, the culture, the arts and yes…the wines!” shares Annareth Bolton, CEO of the Stellenbosch Wine Routes.

This nomination follows on the recent success of the wine route’s experiential #Stellenblog initiative which they hosted in conjunction with Stellenbosch 360 as part of the duo’s yearlong international wine tourism campaign,Stellenbosch Experience.

This digital campaign saw some of the most influential international and national bloggers immersing themselves in a week-long bucket list itinerary to see-sip-and-savour the Stellenbosch Way of Life like the locals do. Theiruncovering and digitally sharing of the secrets and stories of South’s Africa’s oldest and foremost wine route with the world, caused quite a stir on social media networks.

On social media, the campaign reached almost 4.7-million users, showing up in timelines over
37.7 million times. During the campaign period, the #Stellenblog hashtag was used in 4 700 tweets by almost 1 000 users. The international PR value is estimated to have exceeded R9 million to date.

“The web and social media have levelled the playing field somewhat, making it possible for destinations like Stellenbosch to take advantage of new trends and use digital marketing to inspire travellers to visit,” shares Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, former CEO of Cape Town Tourism and owner of Destinate, an international tourism marketing agency and the driving force behind the Stellenbosch Experience campaign. “Word of mouth through social media is now the most powerful tool for any destination marketer today and we are tapping into local pride using citizens and bloggers to share Stellenbosch’s story with the world,” she added.

Other exciting wine tourism projects lined up for Stellenbosch Experience include an exciting Winter in the Winelands programme in June, which will encourage South Africans to swap their hibernation for a sensory Stellenbosch sojourn during the quieter winter months.

The winners of The Drinks Business Awards 2014 will be revealed on 3 June at the London Wine Fair Olympia.

For more information on the Stellenbosch Experience campaign visit StellenBlog at contact Mariette du Toit-Helmbold at or phone 083 225 5955.